From my past 2 years in IB diploma, I have encountered many problems and challenges from both inside and outside school. Overcoming the challenges, I have found the two years not only rewarding, and also joyful.
From the beginning of my diploma in Grade 11, I was a little overwhelmed by the increased work load, which causes me to compensate my leisure time as well as my time for physical training in order to catch up with the pacing of my academic schedule. This is also caused by my poor skill in time management, which results as my challenges outside of school, since I had to push the schedule of volunteering and training after my assessments or exams.
I have find my academic improvement to be the most rewarding experience over the two years. As I become more comfortable working with IB’s criteria and its expectation, I become more efficient on finishing my academic work and completing researches, which not only improved my time management skill, but also provided me a life skill to move on in university. Also, it was the most satisfying experience to see my hard work has become the key to enter the university I wanted to study in.
In conclusion, I find the two years in Mulgrave my most precious time of my life, and I am grateful for all the people, especially my teachers and friends from both my school and other communities, who entered my life and brought me challenge and joy.
After learning about the Running Cat Physical Training Centre, when I had worked in the Running Cat Cafe, I returned to the training centre to discover the newly designed training program with under multimedia technology. As my lesson starts, which I selected to have more cardio exercises, I figured that the background music and the LED screen rather distractive when I try to concentrate on my training. Thus, as I suggested the issue to my coach, he invited me to the out-door run on the weekend rather than continuing my lessons in the media room. The complete loop is around six kilometres and the time was at night. As I ran with other trainers, I was shocked about how little I knew about the city which I had lived for more than five years. By the end of the run, I decided to design running programs for myself similar to this, but on other parts of Shanghai whenever the weather is more favourable, in order to see the side of the city I have never seen before.
In both June and August, I have worked in the Running Cat Cafe in Shanghai, which is a subordinate cafe of the Running Cat Physical Training Centre. The location is close to many housing communities that provides ample customers from working men to house wives. Since there are only four employees working in the cafe, I had learned everything excepting making cakes. The cafe offers healthy meals for customers of the training centre as well as a variety of desserts for families of housing communities, especially for many of these families which has a young children. From this working experience, the most useful skill I learnt was not how to make espresso drinks nor to make any delicious soda water, but the ability to discover the taste and interest of any customer and find a way to satisfy their desire. This has helped me in my academics as well, such as I feel more comfortable on unveiling the writer’s purpose when doing my English paper 1 practices. Overall, i feel both proud and delighted for my first working experience dispute the tiredness.
During the Christmas Tree Sale before Christmas in Mulgrave school, I have participated with several of my classmates which the event was so successful that all trees were sold out in less than three hours, This event surprised me about the connection between families and school. This sense of community my school offers is unique and unreplaceable. It also taught me that any business, from fundraising to selling a product, must create its own connection and relationships to its customers and their communities in order to maintain its vitality.
As a mandarin tutor for elementary students at West Vancouver Library I have used my experiences from being the Book-buddy, which allowed me to have a closer relationship with the students. I found that children learns new vocabularies easily form reading a interested story rather then memorizing from the boring flash cards. Therefore, I sometimes write simple storeis which are similar to the style that a student likes, in order to encourage them to learn more challenging characters as Chinese characters appears difficult to write and hard to memorize. Although I only participated for three weeks in July, I found this experience precious to me since the sense of achievement is staisfying.
For the past two years, I have went to the gym twice to four times per week depending on the amount of school work and the type of excises done each day. Although I had a personal training during last summer, I found it more suitable for me to train on my own or with my classmates since more pressure from academics forces my schedule to be planned more flexible on changing appointments. Through the two years of training, I found myself not only enjoys the progressing on my body, but also the skills I learnt on time-management. it was a greatful way to spend my leisure time with my peers and a effective way to reduce the pressure I exerted from school.
During Christmas break, I have visited Eric’s family to review for the mock IB exam. After Eric’s mother kindly invited me to have dinner, I found Eric’s guitar laying on the sofa in the living-room. Out of curiousity, I asked Eric if he would be able to teach me some basic on playing guitar. Once started reading the music sheet Eric handed to me, I found that the sheet is so different from the one’s written for piano, and it took me nearly twenty minuets to understand the difference. The six lines, unlike the five lines on the piano sheet, represents the right hand which picks the string where the numbers on the sheet tells the orieantation of the left hand which presses the string to make a specific sound. After that day, I learned guitar from Eric whenever we have our organized breaks between study periods before the mock exam. This experience helps me to explore the world of music other than simply piano, which I had learned in China since middle school.
The Jam Fundraiser Project of Envision Vancouver is held by our team of high-school students including Jerry, David and I. This project is attempting to sell home made jams in order to raise the fund for further activities on helping the homeless people living in downtown eastside.
The raw materials, the apple, strawberry and rasberry, were carefully chosen and our group of grade 12 students has participated in the jam-making process which took us more than five hours from smashing the fruit to decorating each glass can with ribbons and printed paper, To ensure the jams have the favourable tastes, we had two test trials in the previous week to examine the amount of pectin required to complete the desired product. The finalized optimal amount of pectin and sugar for, respectively, 10 oz of apple, 10 oz of blueberry, and 10 oz of raspberry. It took 7 hours for 4 of our members to make 48 jars of jams.
On the day of selling jams, located at the atrium of West Vancouver Community Center, we prepared a poster that includes both the flavour of the jams, and a short description of the goals of Envision Vancouver. The outcome of the projects was very successful, where all jams were sold out in merely a few hours, and the fund raised has achieved a total amount of 206.45, after subtracted from the cost.
It was a unforgetable experience for me that allows me have an insight on risk management in business when David and I had discussed on the number of cans and the pricing of each product in order to avoid a loss in costing.
I am exploring the topic on cognitive science for my ToK presentation, and the topic is about “conscious” and “unconscious” processes of human when creating and interpreting art works. It is an interesting but difficult topic to explore since the study of “consciousness” is still developing, and the processes are hard to justify whether a conscious or an unconscious processes are present. The TED Talk by John Searle explored the existence of consciousness, and claimed it as an unavoidable biological consequence. Although it is likely to be true, it puts the idea of “unconscious processes” in plight. If consciousness always exists and cannot be avoided, than it would be impossible for individuals to react without it.
On April 19, David, Jerry, and I attended to one of the lecture of the series called “Food: Sustainability and Innovation”. Professors of UBC and a local farmer has informed the ways of farming in B.C. and linked with the global issue where the food production is reaching the peak. It almost felt like a Geography class from Mr. van Zyl since the issues such as fertilizer run off and eutrophication has already been addressed in the class. Although the lecture has provided the perspective of genetic engineering and farming together, there were no suggestions of any valid solution. The issue around food is always linked with pollutions and soil degradation, especially for United States, and the issue cannot be completely solved if the two environmental impact are still present. However, this issue may expand the market on genetic engineering for microorganisms which may have the possibility to provide an alternative solution rather than increasing types of fertilizers for farming industry.